WEDNESDAY: Like the low rumble of the world’s biggest industrial air conditioning unit, Isis stuffs doom metal into postrock’s dinner jacket at the Ottobar with Versoma and the Malevoiy. If emo and dance-rock had a baby, it might sound something like Atlanta’s Snowden, the band’s lush shoegaze guitars spilling over handclaps at the Talking Head with local gabba punks Abiku, Santa Dads, and Remote Islands.
THURSDAY: Not only does Facedowninshit have one of the best and most accurate names in metal at the moment, but it also vomits up an Eyehategod-esque toxic sludge with equally apt titles like "Fucked" at the Ottobar with fellow doom-mongers Unearthly Trance, Fuck the Facts, and Hex Machine. Winnowed down to just founding member 3D, Massive Attack is still peddling a bloodshot stoner’s take on hip-hop at Washington’s 9:30 Club with Christine Moritz.
FRIDAY: Dark Water Transit Orchestra performs the legendary score to Dawn of the Dead by Italian soundtrack legend Goblin at the Ottobar, which is pretty damn cool, with American Centaur and Durden opening. California hip-hop duo Coaxial is playing the Talking Head, so you should know it’s not your standard boom-bap, with opening slots filled by the loud fast rock of Sexytime Explosion and Screwbus, featuring two Wzt Hearts on their day off. Legendary jazz double bassist Cecil McBee performs two special sets at An die Musik with the four man NoMad Stories.
SATURDAY: Extra Golden is the collaboration between two American indie rockers and two Kenyan benga musicians, and it brings the resulting hybrid to the Talking Head with Hymnen and Baby Aspirin, but the specialest of special guests is DJ Pitaah, who is spinning a special mix of East African dance music. Invest in some earplugs before heading to the Depot for the shrill, tribal assault of Ex Models, plus a performance by the OCDJ, local two-man guitar team Ecstatic Sunshine, and the Bad News Bats. The return of performances to the Red Room at Normals Books and Records following this year’s High Zero festival features New York reeds player Blaise Siwula, English drummer Paul Hession, and New York bassist Adam Lane performing an improvisational trio. And Charm City Space hosts hip-hop revolutionaries and activists Son of Nun and Head-Roc, plus punk from Attentat and folk from Ryan Harvey.
SUNDAY: Enjoy some old-school punk and balls-out rock from the Fishnet Stalkers, Soda Pop Kids, and the Rip-ovs at the Talking Head.
MONDAY: Pretty much exactly what would happen if a bunch of thirtysomething rock critics formed a bar band, the Hold Steady brings its wordy rapping hoods and E. Street Band riffs to the Ottobar with Sean Na Na and the Big Sleep. Elephant 6 collective psychedelic pop band Elf Power comes to the Talking Head with locals Water School and Gary B and the Notions opening up.
TUESDAY: Metalcore standard-bearer Bane raises screaming and screeching to a higher art at the Ottobar with Down to Nothing, Pulling Teeth, and Nick Fury. California punk band Code 4-15 rips shit up at the Sidebar with the Betty Sue Establishment and Free Addiction.
WEDNESDAY: Four teenage punks on two wheels and up to no good whatsoever, Be Your Own Pet has made one of the year’s best records, and you can see if they’ll pull it off live at Sonar with the Black Lips and the Drugstore Cowboys. Not quite dance-punk and too hyper to be postrock, Ratatat’s instrumental electronic music maps out new genres at Washington’s Black Cat with Envelopes and Panther. Put up your lighters for motherfucking Iron Butterfly and all 17 organ-drenched minutes of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" at Rams Head Live.
IN THE WINGS: Is there a single Canadian not in some sort of indie-rock collective? Is this what socialized medicine does to people? The billion member shoegaze orchestra Broken Social Scene plays Sonar Nov. 6 with Do Make Say Think, one of a billion splinter groups of the original Canadian indie-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Live isn’t a collective, but it is one of the few bands to work the word "placenta" into the Top 40, and it comes to Sonar on Nov. 16. (For more info call  327-8333 or visit www.sonar.us.)
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